Next generation LNG carriers
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has received two orders for Sayaringo STaGE next-generation LNG carriers for delivery to two joint ventures established by Chubu Electric Power, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line).
The Sayaringo STaGE features a new design that achieves significant improvements in both LNG carrying capacity and fuel efficiency through the adoption of a more efficient hull structure and an innovative hybrid propulsion system.
These two orders were received through MI LNG Company, Limited, a joint venture between MHI and Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd and the vessels will be constructed at MHI's Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works.
When completed, the vessels will be 297.5m in length, with a width of 48.94m, depth of 27.0m and draft of 11.5m. Each carrier comes with four apple-shaped tanks, an improved version of Moss-type2 tanks designed with a bulging upper half.
Total holding capacity of the tanks will be 180,000m3. The adoption of a tank cover integrated with the hull structure, developed by MHI with support from Aker Arctic Technology Inc., enables a lighter vessel while fully retaining overall structural strength.
The new design also reduces wind resistance during navigation. The Sayaringo STaGE has a width allowing for passage through the newly expanding Panama Canal that is expected to go into service early in 2016, thereby enabling an efficient increase in LNG transporting capacity.
The LNG carriers on order feature a hybrid propulsion system dubbed "STaGE" (Steam Turbine and Gas Engines). Plant efficiency has been substantially improved through the effective use of the engine's waste heat for steam turbine, resulting in a propulsion system enabling high-efficiency navigation throughout a full range of speeds.
On 1 October, MHI will launch a wholly owned ship construction company and transfer all operations in the construction of large-scale commercial ships in the Nagasaki district to the new entity. Through this initiative its shipbuilding structure will be transformed to focus into the construction of gas carriers, a vessel type in which it excels.
Both vessels on order are scheduled for completion and delivery in 2018. They will be put into service for transporting shale gas produced in North America, mainly carrying the gas from the Freeport LNG Project1, an initiative in which Chubu Electric Power is participating.
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